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Volkswagen: Buzzing in print again – literally

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Volkswagen: Buzzing in print again – literally

Automotive brand Volkswagen has come to be known for its print campaigns. The brand launched the ‘shiver campaign’ for its offerings Polo and Vento with an innovation in yesterday’s edition of The Times of India, The Hindustan Times and The Hindu.

As readers opened the newspaper, a light-sensitive chip attached to the paper began to vibrate. Two whole pages of the four page jacket were devoted to bringing alive the many innovations and unique processes that go into making the Volkswagen followed by the fourth page of the jacket that communicated the benefits of the Polo and Vento offer.

Print innovations and Volkswagen go hand in hand. When the brand began its operations in 2007, it was just another foreign player amongst the rest. This notion was broken with the brand’s first campaign in 2011, ‘The Times of India roadblock campaign’ (the brand is estimated to have spent Rs 8 crore on the campaign). This initiative was for the launch of Beetle. It took place post the inauguration of Volkswagen’s Rs 3800 crore plant in Pune. Twelve pages out of the 22 had ads for Volkswagen. The message was clear – India was an important market for the brand and it was ready to stay and invest its monies in the Indian market. The brand also established print as its preferred medium.

This was followed by the announcement of the beginning of its premium hatchback Polo’s sales in 2010; Volkswagen took over The Times of India with a portion of every page cut out in the shape of the car – something that no reader could miss. Distinctive features of the new launch were provided on the pages of every cut out. The last page of the newspaper carried a full page ad with the message: ‘We've put a lot into it. You’ll get even more out of it’.

In September of the same year, Volkswagen became the talk of the town with its ‘talking campaign’ again with The Times of India. Readers in Delhi, Bangalore, Pune and Chennai woke up to the surprise of their newspaper ‘speaking’ to them about the Vento. This campaign was probably the brand’s most popular campaign and created a huge hype in media and ad circles as well as social media.

The print campaigns have worked well for the brand. Just before the first roadblock in November 2009, Volkswagen’s brand awareness in the country was a meager eight per cent. As of October 2011, it was at 44 per cent, a 550 per cent jump in two years.

With the new shiver campaign, the brand reinstates its faith in the print medium. “Like our carlines, innovation has always been the core of our communication. Through this innovation we have not only communicated the unique processes that go into making a Volkswagen but also the new features added to Polo and Vento. I am confident that like our other campaigns, this initiative will excite our customers to walk into our showrooms for a test drive,” commented Lutz Kothe, Head of Marketing and PR, Volkswagen Passenger Cars, Volkswagen Group Sales India.

DDB Mudra group has partnered Volkswagen on this innovation and shares the brand’s excitement. Louella Rebello, Executive Creative Director,DDB Mudra Group said, “The vibrating newspaper besides conveying the excitement of the Polo and Vento, highlights how Volkswagen cars are fundamentally superior. As Indians, we like to tick the boxes on peripherals while buying a car. What we are saying is sure, tick boxes but tick the right ones. Make sure the fundamentals are rock solid first.”

The brand has indeed established itself as a serious player to contend with in the Indian market. It clearly hopes to deliver another success with the shivering campaign. Is this campaign overkill for consumers or another round of success for Volkswagen…only time will tell.

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